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What are the Different Types of Mental Health Disorders?

August 26, 2021

9 min read

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Author : United We Care
What are the Different Types of Mental Health Disorders?

The complete list of the different types of mental health issues and diseases, how to diagnose them, and treatment methods.

List of Mental Health Disorders

Mental health disorders or mental illnesses refer to a wide range of thinking, behaviour, and mood disorders. Mental illnesses include depression, addictive behaviour, anxiety disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia. Diagnosing the type of mental health issues from symptoms is quite difficult. The following section lists some of the primary classifications of mental health disorders:

  • Bipolar and related disorders
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Schizophrenia spectrum and other psychotic disorders
  • Obsessive compulsive and related disorders
  • Dissociative disorder
  • Feeding and eating disorder
  • Somatic symptom and related disorders
  • Trauma and stress related disorders
  • Gender dysphoria
  • Sexual dysfunctions
  • Sleep-wake disorders
  • Impulse control and conduct disorder
  • Elimination disorders
  • Neurocognitive disorders
  • Paraphilic disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Addictive and substance related disorders
  • Other mental disorders

Studies have found that every 1 in 5 adults has a mental illness. However, people still cannot talk openly about their diseases, as it has become a social stigma. Effective communication is a key element in the proper diagnosis and treatment of mental health disorders. Discussing mental health helps in recognising alternatives to treating brain disorders. Patients can quickly get back to regular lifestyles by learning proper management of mental disorders. The state of mind dramatically affects how they think, feel, and react. Communities should always support their loved ones in tough times and talk about their mental illness openly. It is everyone’s responsibility to help and find positive ways of supporting patients with mental health issues. It enhances the patient’s mental state and gives them the much-needed support to overcome it.

Mental Health Statistics

Mental illnesses are becoming more and more common across the world. Two major categories of mental conditions are Any Mental Illness (AMI) and Serious Mental Illness (SMI). AMI includes all types of mental illnesses. SMI comprises a relatively smaller but more severe subset of mental conditions.

  • AMI refers to different types of behavioural, mental, and emotional disorders. The impact on a person can range between mild, restrained, and severe impairment.
  • SMI is an emotional, mental, or behaviour disorder that results in permanent functional harm. It also interferes with the normal functioning of life and limits the activities of the patient.

According to an estimation, more than 51.5 million adults aged around 18-25 suffer from mental health disorders. This number represents a significant portion of the total adult population. It is found that the prevalence of AMI is relatively higher in females than males. Also, younger adults suffer more than those aged 26-49. Moreover, AMIs’ commonness is more among white adults (22.6%) compared to Asian adults (14.3%).

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Causes of Mental Health Disorders

There can be various causes of mental disorders. Multiple factors contribute to the risk of mental illness, such as –

  • Genetic changes and family history
  • Life experiences, excess stress history of abuse, particularly in the childhood
  • Chemical imbalances in the brain
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • The feeling of loneliness or isolation
  • Serious medical conditions

Nerve cells in the brain circuit communicate using chemicals known as a neurotransmitter. Psychotherapy makes changes to these chemicals using medical procedures. It helps in eliminating the defects and injuries to some regions of the brain. Specific infections, genetic disorders, injury, and substance abuse are also responsible for brain illness. For every patient, a complex series of factors is responsible for causing a mental imbalance. It is always necessary to give proper medical attention to any form of health problem.

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Types of Mental Illnesses

Mental illness is a dangerous condition that can plague individuals, including our loved ones.  Thus, it should be the responsibility of each person to accept and acknowledge mental health. To understand the condition, here is a list of the types of mental illnesses.

●      Anxiety Disorder

Patients suffering from anxiety disorders tend to respond to specific objects or situations with dread and fear. Sometimes, they also react to physical signs of panic, anxiety, rapid heartbeat, or sweating. The symptoms may include conditions where an individual might show inability to control responses.

●      Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder is also referred to as manic depression that results in severe mood fluctuations. It also brings changes in sleep, energy, thought, and behavioural patterns. Patients with bipolar disorder can go through overly happy and sometimes overly sad and hopeless periods. Between these two events, they typically feel normal.

●      Depression

Doctors categorise depression as a type of mood disorder. Patients experience the feeling of lost sadness, or anger that interferes with the normal functioning of life. People come across depression in various ways. It can interfere with daily work resulting in loss of productivity and time. In some cases, it also affects relationships and leads to chronic health conditions.

●      Disruptive Disorders

Symptoms of the disruptive disorder are relatively easy to identify among all coexisting mental conditions. Patients show signs of physical aggression, temper tantrums, stealing, and other defence and resistance types. This mental condition significantly affects normal lifestyle, work, school, and relationships. An early diagnosis and proper treatment can greatly help an individual to get over these conditions.

●      Dissociative Disorders

Dissociative disorder lacks continuity or connection between memories, thoughts, and actions, surroundings, and identity. Usually, patients suffering from dissociative disorders do away with odd and healthy realities and affect their everyday lives. Dissociative disorders develop a reaction to trauma that prevents difficult memories. Alternate identities and amnesia are common symptoms of this mental condition.

●      Drug Disorders

Drug abuse affects a person’s brain and behaviour, and the patient cannot control addictive drugs and medication. Substances like nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana are categorised as drugs. People continue to use such substances despite being aware of the adverse effects. Patients with drug disorders must seek immediate medical assistance to get over their addiction.

●      Eating Disorders

Eating disorders include explaining emotions, behaviour, and attitude that cause changes in food consumption and weight. Bulimia nervosa, binge-eating disorders, and anorexia nervosa are some common types of eating disorders. Patients mainly focus on body weight, shape, and food habits that eventually impact their eating behavior.

●      Mood Disorders

Mood disorders, also known as affective disorders, include persistent periods of happiness or sadness. Such patients experience frequent fluctuations in their mental condition. Mood disorders are a result of an imbalance in brain chemicals.

●      Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Disabilities characterise neurodevelopmental disorders in children’s mental processing that affect their memory, learning, and behaviour. There is a wide variety of neurodevelopmental disorders where children show signs of specific deficits. In some cases, patients require lifelong assistance with essential skills for independent living. 

●      Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Individuals suffering from OCD are occupied with continuous thoughts and fears that lead them to perform specific routines or rituals. The disturbing thoughts are termed as observations, and patterns are called compulsion. Patients are often aware that their habits and beliefs are unreal. They practice these because they enjoy them.

●      Personality Disorders

People who have personality disorders have intense and incredible personality traits that are distressing to others. It also causes problems in social relationships, work, and school. Besides, the thinking pattern of the individual and behaviour essentially differ from the expectations of the society.

●      Psychosis

This condition of psychosis involves excessive thinking, where the victim might show symptoms of distorted awareness. The most common symptoms of psychosis are hallucinations and delusions. Patients experience certain beliefs that they accept as accurate, despite contrary evidence.

●      Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a type of psychotic disorder. It is one of the most severe mental conditions that cause the patient to interpret reality abnormally. It can result in a combination of delusions, hallucinations, and disordered thinking that ultimately impairs the normal functioning of life. Psychosis eventually turns into schizophrenia, causing the patient to have suicidal thoughts.

●      Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorder affects the ability to get sufficient sleep regularly. It can be a result of excessive stress, changes in sleeping patterns, or health problems. If the issues persist and interfere with daily life, then it indicates a sleeping disorder.

●      Stress Disorders

Stress disorder results from experiencing or witnessing traumatic events. Typically the symptoms start to show within a month of a traumatic event and can last for about a month. Events like the threat of death, a threat to physical integrity, death, and severe injury can cause stress disorders.

Counselling and Therapy for Treatment of Mental Illness

Advancements in the field of medical science have given access to several treatments for mental disorders. A patient can now get a complete cure of mental health issues with proper treatment and therapy.

Treatment methodologies for health disorders are primarily of two types –

  • Psychotherapeutic
  • Somatic

Psychotherapeutic treatments include psychotherapy by individuals, families, or groups. Other methods of behaviour therapy comprise relaxation training, hypnotherapy, or exposure therapy.

Experts suggest that the majority of mental health disorders require a treatment approach involving both psychotherapy and drugs. Individuals need to understand the differences between a sociopath and a psychopath to avail the most appropriate treatment. For example, ‘United We care’ counselling services guide its clients to manage stress, anxiety, and various mental illnesses. Therapeutic sessions help patients learn and develop skills that help them get back to everyday life. We Care counselling services recognise and diagnose mental disorders of the client to manage their everyday lives effectively.

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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